Our Plant of the Month for September are Ferns – and there are plenty to choose from here at Botanic Home & Garden Centre. Ferns are an ancient plant. They comprise a large number of different families of perennial plants all loved for their gorgeous fronds and instant ability to bring the woodland touch to your garden. Ferns do not have flowers, but rather reproduce using spores. Most are very hardy and require little maintenance. Differing varieties have fronds ranging from simple, large and fairly flat and tapered, to extremely complex and delicate, curled and feathery. There is a vast selection of green colours to choose from, with some varieties having red, purple, silver and bronze, and others turning copper in autumn. Ferns come in both deciduous and evergreen varieties.
How to Grow
Ferns are best planted in autumn or spring. They are generally found in shaded areas, and so do best in shade, and are ideal to transform dark neglected corners of your garden. They love rich, organic soils, so give the area a good mulching before planting. Young plants would benefit from the addition of a slow-release fertiliser to around the plants. Ferns generally love plenty of moisture, so you may need to water young plants during drier periods. If the tips of the fronds are turning brown, it’s definitely time to water. Try to avoid watering into the crown, to prevent rot.
More exotic tree ferns also benefit from plenty of water during dry spells, and they are also susceptible to frosts, so protect your tree fern with garden fleece or by folding over old fronds and securing during very cold weather. Dicksonia Antartica is a firm favourite in our garden centres, and is one of the hardier types of tree ferns, but will still benefit from a little extra care in cold and dry weather.
Ferns usually lack woody growth and require little by way of pruning. You can simply cut back any old or damaged leaves from the clumps to improve the appearance, taking care to avoid new emerging frond growth.
Ferns bring a really calming feel to a garden, and are great for creating a woodland area. They look fantastic planted under native trees such as beeches and oaks. Dryopteris and Polystichum varieties work well here. They look wonderful planted alongside Heuchera (our Plant of the Month last month, we still have some lovely varieties available), Hosta, snowdrops, bluebells and other woodland bulbs (our Spring bulbs are now in stock). So to add a touch of woodland calm to your garden, come on down to our Cork and Wexford garden centres during the month of September, and get 10% off our ferns.